At the start of 2017, our team has taken some time to reflect on the bigger picture –  how our objectives align with global movements and initiatives of different kinds and how best a small group like ours can have the impact we aspire to.

We have been especially interested in looking at the Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) movement and seek to understand how best we could engage with it so that we can track its progress, learn from it and think about how we could contribute our experience too.

In 2016, EWEC published The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030. The strategy describes adolescents as “central to everything we want to achieve, and to the overall success of the 2030 Agenda.”

The three overarching objectives of the updated Global Strategy are Survive, Thrive and Transform. The vision is to – end preventable death – that no woman, child or adolescent should face a greater risk of preventable death because of where they live or who they are and to realize their rights to the highest attainable standards of health and well-being…

The strategy document includes nine action areas and three of these (in highlights) are very pertinent to the work of Children for Health (although most overlap).

Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030: Nine Action Areas:

  • Country leadership
  • Financing for health
  • Health system resilience
  • Individual potential
  • Community engagement
  • Multi-sector action
  • Humanitarian and fragile settings
  • Research and innovation
  • Accountability for results, resources and rights

The section on ‘individual potential’ begins with this statement:

Women, children and adolescents are potentially the most powerful agents for improving their own health and achieving prosperous and sustainable societies.

This sentiment is what we know at Children for Health – it’s the fuel in our tank, the engine that drives us. We seek to advocate for the role of children in this mix. In our experience however, although some people hold this idea in their minds, it is rare to find it in their actions or hearts. After all, the ‘Participation Principle’ was a cornerstone of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – ratified by most governments in 1989?but its still rare re to find evidence of ‘good participation’ on the ground where women and children truly are agents of their own destiny.

We would love to find out from others who are conducting practical work to bring the EWEC strategy to life and in particular how young adolescents (10-14 year olds) are contributing and benefiting from work being done in this area. Its really important that strategy documents like this have a practical impact and we’d like to find out more how its ‘translating’ into policy and practice.

To read the full text of our article on EWEC and its relevance to our work at Children for Health in the other two areas too, please click this link

Thanks! and Happy New Year!